DONCASTER Rovers’ star Kyle Bennett will again be missing when the South Yorkshire club take on Oldham Athletic in the second round of the FA Cup at Boundary Park tomorrow.
But the tricky winger will be at the match rooting for his team-mates and hoping that they can book themselves a place in Sunday’s third round draw with the hope of landing a big club.
Bennett, whose trickery has been badly missed on Rovers’ left flank, has been suffering from a grade 2 medial ligament tear.
He missed the first round tie against Bradford Park Avenue but expects to be back in action in plenty of time to play in the third round were Rovers to make it that far.
He could also be available for a replay were Rovers to be held to a draw tomorrow, having set himself a target of being ready to return to action in the testing away League One game at Swindon Town on Saturday week.
Now back doing some running with fitness coach Mal Purchase, Bennett told The Star this week: “It’s been frustrating because I want to play in every game that I can and help the team to win, but these things (injuries) happen sometimes.
“I’m just glad that the team have been winning most of the time that I have been out.
“I think the team have struggled a little bit when both Cotts (David Cotterill) and myself were out, as was the case in the home defeat against Crewe; I think we need at least one of us to be playing to give us the width.
He added: “I thought that we were working well as a pair going forward and we were also helping the defence out as well and we were looking a really solid unit.
“With me getting injured it messed the team up a little bit in the home games against Crewe and Bournemouth, which we both lost.
“I think I’ve added that defensive aspect to my game this season and the full-backs now say that it is easier to play with me now because I’m doing that kind of work.
“Obviously I still prefer to do my work going forward and taking people on, creating chances and scoring goals. But if it’s helping the team, which it is, then I’m happy to do it because the team is more important than me.
“I think last season I was really good for a game and then average for a game, whereas this season I think I’ve been a bit more consistent.
“I think that I have stayed at that level longer and I’ve strung a few really good games together which has benefited the team.
“It hard to play consistently at your best and there are only a few people in the world can do that.
“The more important the opposition rate you the harder it becomes to play well every game because they double on you and things like that.
“In some games I can find myself so tightly marked that it can be difficult to do a lot but if two players are marking me then that means there must be more space for the other players. So I’m still helping out the team even if it looks to some people that I’m not doing a lot.”
Tuesday’s 1-0 win over the Latics at the Keepmoat Stadium, saw Rovers climb into an automatic promotion spot in League One. Rovers’ lofty placing - only the superior goal difference of leaders Tranmere separates the two sides - may have surprised some people within the game, but not Bennett.
“Definitely not,” he said. “With the players we’ve got and obviously the gaffer and coaching staff who have got things working well.
“We have players throughout the team playing well and scoring goals, and with the quality of Cotts’ delivery we are always going to be a threat from set pieces.
“The good thing from our point of view is that there is still more to come. We weren’t scoring many goals at home earlier in the season, and we didn’t always play well but it was always going to a matter of time before the goals went in and hopefully the four we scored against Scunthorpe at the weekend is a sign of things to come.
If Rovers home form in the league has been patchy at times, not so their away form. They have lost just once on the road in the league.
Said Bennett: “The way we organise ourselves in away games, it looks like we can’t lose.”